Philosophy of Moderation (Part 1) – Physical

So recently I’ve been debating on how often to post.  On one hand I feel I have a lot of fairly interesting stuff to say, but on the other I don’t want to over-saturate you to the point you get bored with me right away.  As it is I babble enough, so best to space out your doses.  Originally I had thought every 2-3 days, but since I had about 2 visitors today, I’m thinking an average of every other day is ideal (as time allows) to keep you interested.

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But maybe not too much of this…

All that said it makes a lot of sense to talk about my belief in moderation here.  I know.. “WTF man.. you’re supposed to be a hedonist!”  Ohhh I am and I earn it.  But I even it out.  There HAS to be a balance.  Just as you can have too much of a bad thing, you can most certainly have too much of a good thing.

Keeping the balance is a lot harder than it sounds.  I’m in an office the majority of the day like many of you and I very strongly believe in a solid work-life balance/division.  Being that I’m an Executive Assistant for a busy CEO, that’s a lot harder to pull off than it sounds.  Beyond that I want to be consistent with my blog AND I play an MMO (Final Fantasy XIV ARR.. don’t you judge me!)  Meanwhile I’m reading Paulo Coelho’s latest (Adultery… more on that later) and I’m making a concentrated effort to see my friends more often and/or have more social life.  I could conceivably juggle all that, but there’s a major element missing: Physical activity.  Unfortunately I don’t have the genetics for a ridiculous metabolism, so If I were to only juggle the list above, I would get very, very plump (and my love of cheese alone would likely kill me.)

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Concrete… yeah, that happened.

But I can’t do that.  I’m an 8 year bachelor veteran, and frankly I want to get laid at least occasionally.  So as much as I would love for my charming personality to do all the work for me… I’m just not THAT awesome (actually.. I might be but why take chances right?)  I need to look sexually appealing too.  But how?  That evil, evil word: Discipline.  I spent many years serving as an assistant for a Tae Kwon Do Grandmaster (yes, seriously) and if anything stuck, it’s that even for somebody who wishes to indulge in worldly pleasures (that said Grandmaster may not agree with…) discipline is not only necessary, but it can greatly enhance your enjoyment.  So, I’ve got a plan with a friend of mine to train her at the gym twice a week, which in turn motivates me (because naturally I have to show her what I can do…)  Meanwhile I keep an Iron Gym (Pull up/chin-up bar) at work and toss sets in every few hours just to wake me up and keep my upper body engaged.  If you do NO other exercise, do the “ups”: pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups and chin ups.  Those alone can make a huge impact on your physical look.

My choice of cardio is long-distance running.  I know, I hated running for years too, but at some point it became a sort of meditation that lets me unplug from the world and focus inward.  I’ll post about that specifically later, but regardless, the key is to find SOME form of cardio you don’t hate.  This could be anything from DDR, to Spinning, to Mountain-Biking, to Marathon Sex (but honestly it would have to be marathon to count…), to Capoeira (I did it, look it up.)  As long as it gets your heart-rate up and involves you moving (so no, horror movies don’t count) then it’s going to be good for you.

BUT!  Don’t overdo it.  Perhaps you’ll become one of the body-building obsessed types that finds passion in sculpting themselves, but unless that’s what truly makes you happy, take it easy and give your body chance to recover.  Exercise is important to offset sedentary lifestyles like mine, but while extreme laziness is terrible for you, the opposite extreme can be just as bad.  People very often injure themselves (sometimes permanently) by being overly obsessed with their performance, and unless you’re a million-dollar athlete, I don’t think compromising your way of life is worth lifting that extra 50 lbs.

Don't be THAT person...

Don’t be THAT person…

The same goes for pushing your cardio too far.  A lot of trainers will push you until you literally vomit.  Any GOOD trainer will tell you this is WRONG.  Not only is puking generally not good for you, but even if you “toughen up” and go back to training when you’re done (also a TERRIBLE idea) your benefit will be drastically reduced (if not destroyed) and your recovery will take longer.

I suppose the key is; listen to your body.  If you’re like me and like to indulge in food but still want to keep fit, then you’re going to have to moderate those calories (and you’ll feel it if you don’t).  That’s not to say you shouldn’t eat that New York strip, smothered in sautéed mushrooms with a fresh lobster tail and melted butter for dipping… (because you should.. immediately..)  just, not every meal (though I would still be jealous of you on your deathbed…)  If you get used to listening to yourself,  you’ll know when you’ve been sitting too long, or when you need to take it down a notch to avoid being sick,  or when your blood sugar is low and you need to eat, or when you need to take a day off to let your body recover (and you do sometimes, period.)

Which brings me to the next, and possibly most essential point: REST.  For the love of god, rest and sleep.  Too often as teenagers we get used to staying up all night in marathon Netflix/Hulu/gaming sessions (okay fine.. not just as teenagers… but that’s only on rare weekends..)  Did you know that actually getting proper rest helps you LOSE WEIGHT?  It also makes you generally happier and helps you recover sooner meaning you will actually enjoy your exercise more and feel better about doing it more often.  Admittedly this is my weakest point.. I try to cram so much into a day that sometimes six hours a night seems difficult.  I recognize it and want to improve it as I already know I have noticeably better days when I’ve gotten about 7.5 hours of sleep or so.

I could go on and on about this, there’s sleep cycles to consider, fluid intake (drink water… lots of it… but even that to an extreme can damage you) meditation, supplements (I don’t take any other than a multivitamin sometimes) and the careful selection of your chosen poisons (quality!!)  But I’ll save those for future, specific posts.  Also, in the meantime I welcome questions about any of this, but be thoughtful and polite, or I’ll ignore you.   Meanwhile I’ll leave you with my general “plan” based on working M-F at around 45-50 hours a week (boss already said he wants me to work more… moderation?)

Sunday – Sleep In/Recover (Optional Workout Day/Cardio if no workout Saturday and I’m not “recovering“… ) + Chore day (Laundry, Dishes, etc.) Photo Edits, Blog

Monday – Work, Walking Dead with Friends, Photo Edits, Catch up on other shows (Crunch Ball + Elevated Diamond/Wide Push-ups while watching). FFXIV* for an hour or two if time.

Tuesday – Work, Train w/ Friend at Planet Fitness, Photo Edits, Blog and/or FFXIV*

Wednesday – Work, Cardio Day (Run 6-10mi), Photo Edits, FFXIV*

Thursday – Work, Train w/ Friend at Planet Fitness, Photo Edits, Blog and/or FFXIV*

Friday – Work, Beer and Wine Friday at Work, Typically Dinner out of some sort w/ Friends, Social Time otherwise late night FFXIV ARR.

Saturday – Sleep in.  Most common day for Photo Shoots (Possible Run/Workout Day in early afternoon.  Most common party day.  Social Time otherwise late night FFXIV ARR.

*The rule with Final Fantasy XIV ARR is “As time allows”.  It’s a guilty pleasure of sorts but is not to take precedence over real-life priorities and interactions… it does sometimes infringe on sleep (though it’s not allowed to…  discipline…)
**Sexual activity, social dinners, or other general debauchery will almost always overrule most aspects of the “plan” listed above and WILL trump sleep most days.  Life is meant to be lived, especially those parts!

Heavy Lifting back in the day...

Heavy Lifting back in the day…

Allow me to say to my friends who are body-builders / “hardcore” about their physical routine that this is not meant to disrespect your lifestyle.  As I mentioned, if that’s what truly makes you happy, nobody can argue with you and I’m in no place to judge anyone.  I simply disagree with it being best for me and for those I generally come across.  So if nothing else it just means you’re a special breed (but you already knew that. )  As usual, I think it comes down to “why”.  If it’s to fill some unexplainable hole in your soul and you only feel good when you push yourself past your limits, I think that’s unhealthy.  But if at the end of the day you’re happier in general because you fill your free time with hard work, then more power to you.  I’ll be over here with my scotch not being happy and not “swole”.

Finally, this blog will have a great variety of post topics. This one may have bored you, but stick with it, I think the next one will be a bit more fun.

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